Let’s Not Pretend It Isn’t ALL ABOUT THE CANDY…





…because it totally is, right? I mean, you think Halloween, and the first thing that comes to your mind is CANDY. Okay, okay…maybe you think about finding the perfect costume, and dressing up as something really cool. But it’s probably to get CANDY, right?!?!


Or maybe you think about carving pumpkins into Jack-O’Lanterns (or if you don’t like all that pumpkin goo? Virtual Jack-O’Lanterns.) But after that? CANDY.


And maybe you think about your favorite Halloween specials, or hilarious web cartoons. Which you probably WATCH WHILE YOU’RE EATING CANDY.




Because IT’S REALLY ALL ABOUT THE CANDY. I’m talking about the good stuff, too: think full size candy bars. Skittles. Even stuff like popcorn balls. But just because it’s ALL ABOUT THE CANDY doesn’t mean it’s…bad. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, Bits and Bramblers. After all…I think we can all agree that treats are infinitely better than tricks, right? And what could be more fun that pouring your entire bag of candy out, and eating all your favorites? It’s milk-chocolate covered awesomeness, that’s what it is.


So HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN, BITS AND BRAMBLERS! But most importantly, be safe out there…and have lots of fun! (After all…you don’t want to waste a perfectly good CANDY opportunity! We can all learn from Sally Brown’s mistake!)
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It’s TEEN READ WEEK! So READ BEYOND REALITY!


Happy Teen Read Week, Bits and Bramblers! See, every year, we set aside an entire week just for teens (like you) who love to read. We even come up with a cool theme—this year, it’s READ BEYOND REALITY. And we do it just to celebrate you guys For no other reason than…reading is fun. And there a lot of good books out there. And the teens who read them are awesome, and deserve their own week.

Now, speaking of good books….haaaaaaaaave you read Meg Cabot’s Being Nikki? It’s the sequel to last year’s Airhead, and it’s got a little bit of everything. Supermodels! Speech class! Multimillion dollar corporations that might really be evil! Unrequited love! Brain transplants! How’s that for beyond reality, huh?


See, Emerson Watts was visiting the Stark Megastore and was accidentally crushed by a giant plasma TV. Luckily for Em, the world’s most famous supermodel, Nikki Howard, suffered an aneurysm at the exact same moment. And when Em wakes up at the hospital, she sounds different and feels different–because a team of Surgeons that work for Stark Enterprises put her brain in Nikki Howard’s body.


And as it turns out, being a supermodel isn’t as easy as it looks. When Being Nikki starts, Em is still getting used to the freezing cold photo shoots and the paparazzi. And just when things seem semi-normal? Nikki Howard’s older brother shows up, and tells her their mother is missing (and how is Em going to explain why she doesn’t remember him?!) And then she realizes that Stark Enterprises has bugged her laptop, and who knows what else. And then someone claiming to be Nikki Howard starts emailing megastar Justin Bay. Only Em hates Justin, so she’s not the one emailing him…but if it’s not Em, who is it? After all, the real Nikki Howard’s dead…right?!


So yeah…I’d say Poor Em’s story is beyond reality, wouldn’t you?

Still…it doesn’t matter what kind of book you read, as long as you…do. Read, that is. After all, it’s Teen Read Week! I mean…I don’t even care if you have to ignore your homework and your chores—take some time and read this week.


Okay, okay…don’t ignore your homework and your chores, but…you know, try and find some time to read.


In fact, I want you to read so much that I’m not even going to leave you with a YouTube clip…you’ve got reading to do, Bits and Bramblers! So grab a book…and go BEYOND REALITY!!!!



Do YOU Know Your Banned Books?


All right, Bits and Bramblers, today’s the last day of Banned Book Week. And remember our last post? In a nutshell, I told you all about how much I love banned books, and then I challenged you to name four frequently challenged books—I gave you a description, and you had to give me the author and title.


And I have to be honest, you guys did really, really good. But just in case you couldn’t figure them out, here are the answers…


This book series—which is also a popular TV show (XOXO)—was challenged for “offensive language, sexually explicit,” descriptions, and being “unsuited to age group.”


Have you heard the latest about B and S? Thaaaat’s right, it’s Gossip Girl. The books by Cecily Von Ziegesar (that are the basis for the hit TV show) were one of the most challenged in 2008.


You can find this book in the Classics section. It’s takes place in the Hamptons in the 1920’s, and it was challenged because of “language and sexual references in the book.” (Ha! And you thought classics were boring!)


Did you guess this one, Old Sports? It’s The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not only is this an amazing, amazing book, but there are two awesome movie versions, an older one with Robert Redford, and a newer one with Paul Rudd. Gatsby does love to throw giant all-night parties, so…maybe that’s why the book was challenged?

This teen book series about three friends who like to IM was was challenged for—wait for it—”offensive language, sexually explicit,” descriptions, and being “unsuited to age group.”


OMG! You got this one, right? It’s Lauren Myracle’s Internet Girls series, which includes TTFN and TTYL. Just like Gossip Girl, the series was one of the most challenged in 2008. Y? IDK…


And last but not least, another classic. This one is about a teen who just got kicked out of boarding school, and heads to New York City. It’s been challenged for…everything, from “excess vulgar language, sexual scenes,” and “things concerning moral issues,” to several complaints that is was just plain “obscene.”


I’m sure you all got this one, ’cause you’re no phonies. It’s The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it might be one of the most challenged books ever. But again…that doesn’t mean the book is bad.


In fact, I don’t think there’s a bad challenged books. Sure…there are a lot of books that I don’t like, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have the right to read them. Everyone has the right to say—and read—what they like. That’s part of being an American Citizen!


But you don’t have to take my word for it, Bits and Brambers. Because—just like so much else in the world—it’s better with puppets. Check out this video from the American Library Association:

Now…what are you waiting for, Bits and Brambers? READ A BANNED BOOK!



Do YOU Read Banned Books?!


…After all, it is Banned Books Week!


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Bits and Bramblers…I love banned books. I just don’t understand book banning. See…in my opinion, one of the best parts of the library is the fact that we have books, movies, and music about everything for everyone. Which doesn’t mean that I like everything we have in the library. Actually, I think a lot of it is crap. But just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean you won’t like it. And if you like it, who I am to say you can’t read it?


And to be honest with you, Bits and Bramblers, the fact that some people consider them so damaging and terrible that they shouldn’t be available to the public makes me want work hard to protect even them more, you know? Okay, okay…I’m officially stepping off my soapbox now, but I’m still encouraging you to READ A BANNED BOOK!


The thing of it is, they’re tricky to spot. They don’t have big red X’s on the spines, and the first page doesn’t say “YOU ARE HOLDING A BANNED BOOK!” In fact, some books that were challenged or banned might surprise you. They might even be books you know and love. So…why don’t we have a BANNED BOOK QUIZ?!? I’ll describe a little about the book—and why it was challenged—and you try to guess the title and the author!


  • This book series—which is also a popular TV show (XOXO)—was challenged for “offensive language, sexually explicit,” descriptions, and being “unsuited to age group.”
  • You can find this book (which is one of my favorite books in the history of all books ever,) in the Classics section. It’s takes place in the Hamptons in the 1920’s, and it was challenged because of “language and sexual references in the book.” (Ha! And you thought classics were boring!)
  • This teen book series about three friends who like to IM was was challenged for—wait for it—”offensive language, sexually explicit,” descriptions, and being “unsuited to age group.”
  • And last but not least, another classic (that also happens to be one of all-time favorites. Didn’t I tell you I loved banned books?!?!) This one is about a teen who just got kicked out of boarding school, and heads to New York City. It’s been challenged for…everything, from “excess vulgar language, sexual scenes,” and “things concerning moral issues,” to several complaints that is was just plain “obscene.”


So…do you read banned books too, Bits and Bramblers? Think you know the answers? Post your best guesses in the comments…and we’ll let you know the correct answers tomorrow! I’ll even leave you with a cheesy 80’s version of another classic to help you think…